This past year has seen some interesting movements in food, with the meat patty making a jump into fine-dining. No longer are burger joints relegated to nearby nightclubs or outside of stadiums, instead restaurants are having fun with sliders, po'boy and bao.
According to Good Food, it's not the only junk food making its way into more formal dining either, with hot dogs, chicken wings, souvlaki and mac 'n' cheese all appearing on menus during the past twelve months.
This comes on the back of what has been a slower time for fine dining. Diners are expecting more for less and it's resulted in several well-loved restaurants closing their doors.
The good news is that as we've lost, we've gained – with some exciting new ventures opening their doors to some great food. Victoria in particular has seen some very cool places pop up, so here is a rundown of what you can expect to find:
Melbourne's new ruling dining location has started to shift its image of a disheveled strip and is instead revamping itself as a hip new hangout for the uber cool. Among the highlights are eating joints like Saint Crispin and Huxtaburger.
The best performing category of the year has been bar/restaurants, with the drinking scene making a strong connection with great food. For a dining experience that takes into account both dish and beverage try Albert St Food and Wine in Brunswick. This restaurant serves up Mediterranean style food and makes good use of local fresh produce.
For those in the fine dining scene, opening a second establishment that offers a middle-road alternative is proving to be a wise move. Not content with The Press Club, George Calombaris is showing his Greek flair at Gazi and souvlaki bar Jimmy Grants.
Other respected operators are trying their hand at becoming food and drink importers, including Rumi and The Moor's Head owner Joseph Abboud with Lebanon's 961 beer.